Mannequins in Marketing: Major Money-Makers for Merchandisers

In the world of fashion merchandising, the number one rule is: The better it is displayed, the better it will sell.

Nowhere is this more obvious than with the use of mannequins in your retail store. Research indicates that apparel sales increase with the use of mannequins by anywhere from 10 to 35 percent, making mannequins one of the best investments you can make for your store.

But why do mannequins work so well? The answers are many, but consider just a few:

1) Mannequins offer your customers a three-dimensional view.

Many customers may have trouble visualizing how an article of clothing will look in real life if it is simply displayed on a hanger. This is particularly true in the case of clothing for women. For instance, mannequins offer an easily relatable view of the positioning of necklines and hemlines.

2) Mannequins create eye appeal and visual interest.

Because clothing displayed on a mannequin stands out from a rack of similarly fashioned apparel, it triggers an emotional purchase response. Some fashion merchandising experts believe this response occurs in as little as seven seconds. At its best, merchandising aims to evoke such an emotional response. When customers engage on an emotional level, sales increase exponentially.

3) Mannequins promote easy upselling opportunities.

Mannequins make it easy to demonstrate entire outfits rather than simply single items of clothing. Adding accessories like jewelry, belts, shoes, and handbags encourages shoppers to make additional purchases. If you’re in the sportswear world, adding things such as gloves, hats, reflective pieces or water bottles would be a great way to increase your add on sales. Combining multiple store items in this way allows a customer to envision more clearly a completed outfit. Even mannequins included on wall displays can work for this purpose if apparel is layered or accessorized properly.

The Bottom Line

Mannequins are unique in their ability to engage customers. They provide strong visual appeal, and trigger an emotional purchase response. Increasing sales by as much as 35 percent, they are an investment worth every penny.

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